#59 Western Michigan Football 2015 Preview

Western Michigan Broncos

Overall Rank: #59
#1 Mid-American

Western Michigan Team Page#59 Western Michigan Football 2015 PreviewBuy Western Michigan Football Tickets

Western Michigan heads into the 2015 with high expectations after a jump to eight wins under head coach P.J. Fleck. The seven win jump from one win in 2013 for the Broncos was one of the greatest turnaround stories in college football last season. Western Michigan brings back 16 starters and will be chomping at the bit to take the next step as a program this season as a contender in the MAC.

2014 Record: 8-5, 6-2
2014 Bowl: Famous Idaho Potato Bowl vs. Air Force (L 24-38)
Coach: P.J. Fleck (9-16 at Western Michigan, 9-16 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Kirk Ciarrocca
Defensive Coordinator: Ed Pinkham

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Jarvion Franklin, RB, 1,551 yards
Passing: Zach Terrell, QB, 3,443 yards
Receiving: Corey Davis, WR, 1,408 yards
Tackles: Grant DePalma, LB, 102
Sacks: Cleveland Smith, DT, 5.5
Interceptions: Ronald Zamort, CB, 4

Other Key Returnees: WR Daniel Braverman, WR Darius Phillips, OL Willie Beavers, OL James Kristof, K Andrew Haldeman, P J. Schroeder, LB Robert Spillane, S Rontavious Atkins

Key Losses: RB Dareyon Chance, DB Justin Currie, DB Donald Celsicar, LB Trevor Ishmael

The Broncos will have little trouble putting points on the board thanks to quarterback Zach Terrell and running back Jarvion Franklin. Terrell did an outstanding of effectively running the offense. He threw for 26 touchdowns and had just ten interceptions. Franklin is a tremendously talented back that you can count on game in and game out. He ran for 24 touchdowns and can wear down defenses consistently. Juniors Corey Davis and Daniel Braverman will carry the receiver corps and will be among the elite wide receivers within the MAC once again in 2015. This balance on offense is going to keep opposing defenses honest instead of moving eight or nine guys into the box.

Western Michigan will have some work to do defensively. They have two all-MAC defensive backs in Justin Currie and Donald Celsicar to replace. The ability to create more turnovers on the defensive side of the ball will help a lot as well to take pressure off the offense. Ronald Zamort and Rontavious Atkins are going to need to have big seasons in the secondary to carry the Western Michigan defense forward. Grant DePalma is also going to need to have another strong season at linebacker as he is the leading returning tackler from last season with 102.

The Bottom Line:
The schedule starts with a bang for the Broncos as Michigan State visits to open the season on September 4th. A tricky road game at Georgia Southern follows and a trip to Ohio State on September 26th as well. Two key road games round off the schedule as Western Michigan travels to Northern Illinois and Toledo. If they can get one or both of those games, they will be in prime position to win the MAC West. Overall, this Western Michigan is going to continue to improve but they may have to settle for eight wins again.

Projected Bowl: Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

2014 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 170.8 (55th in nation, 5th in conference)
Passing Offense: 267.3 (34, 3)
Total Offense: 438.2 (39, 4)
Scoring Offense: 33.8 (32, 2)
Rushing Defense: 153.5 (47, 5)
Pass Defense: 217.6 (48, 2)
Total Defense: 371.2 (45, 3)
Scoring Defense: 24.9 (42, 3)
Turnover Margin: 0.23 (48, 4)
Sacks: 2.23 (55, 3)
Sacks Allowed: 1.85 (47, 6)


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